Moore Handles Loss, Grip Problem
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Moore acknowledges the crowd despite bogeying the final hole

CROMWELL, Conn. — Just seconds after Fredrik Jacobson missed a seven-footer for birdie on No. 15, Ryan Moore, who was hitting darts at pins all weekend, rolled in his on No. 16 to tie Jacobson for the lead at 20-under. Turned out to be a disappointing ending for Moore, though, despite firing scores of 64-63 over the weekend. After nearly holing out from the greenside bunker on 18, he missed a four-footer to save par and the chance of forcing a playoff. Shoulders slightly slumped, Moore calmly made the comeback for bogey to settle for a tie for second.

At the end of the day, Moore handled the defeat gracefully. “He’s still smiling,” said JD Rastovski, who caddied for Moore on Sunday when Moore’s brother Jason woke up with a bad bout of food poisoning. “He shot 63 in the final round. Hard to be too upset.”

Still, missing a short putt under pressure to lose out on half-a-million and his second victory probably stings more than Ryan let on.

“That last hole is going to sting a little,” he admitted.

He stroked the flatstick well for 17 holes. I followed him for most of his round and I was baffled when several putts didn’t drop, especially the one for eagle on 13. Moore was also perplexed.

“I hit it exactly where I wanted to,” he said in his post-round interview with CBS.

Moore wasn’t going to give excuses for the flinchy putt on 18.

“Really, I hit my first bad putt of the day,” he said. “It was just a pretty simple left center putt and I pushed it right in the middle of the hole and it just topped out that left side.”

He blamed his second round where he shot even-par for having to play catch-up.

“It was my second round that cost me this tournament,” said Moore. “I shot even par. And it was that really broken up day I finished two holes in the morning, went home, hung out all day, played nine holes at night and then came back and finished in the morning kind of thing.

“I just didn’t get a good rhythm going, honestly, on either one of those and ended up shooting even par. And you know, on this golf course that definitely cost you. I was able to make up for it this weekend, but I certainly should have been a lot closer going into today, if not right there.

“So I don’t really — I’m not beating myself up over that putt, you know. You hit bad putts. That happens in golf. It was unfortunate timing, but really it was that second round that ultimately cost me in my mind.”

Better news is that Moore figured out an equipment problem that had been driving him crazy for the last five-to-six weeks. Instead of his usual little cut, Moore was overdrawing the ball, and despite feeling great about his swing, he couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t hitting where he wanted it to go.

Finally, after missing the cut at the U.S. Open, he checked out the alignment of his clubs — which for a pro can make a huge difference if something is off by the slightest degree.

“I”m such a feel player and I have a spine, a reminder in my grips, and the grip was just spun a little bit to the right, which if I get my hand on there the way I like to, that was making the club face actually end up two or three degrees shut in my hands, and I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why,” said Moore. “I’ve never set the club face up shut. If anything, a little bit open in my life.

“Turns out all my grips were shut on there…But we got it straightened out, and well, this is what happened. So there we go. Must have helped.”

Heads up to the guys in the equipment van this week — you’re going to face the wrath of Ryan Moore!

“I’m going to give (my equipment guys) a very hard time next week, let’s just say,” he said firmly.